Exploring the Flavors of Hyderabad: A Guide to the City’s Authentic Cuisine and Dishes (2023)
Hyderabad is heaven for a connoisseur of good food. For someone who appreciates the diversity and flavors of Indian cuisine, Hyderabad is a must-visit city.
People across the world know Hyderabad for its spicy and aromatic Biryani. And without any doubt, Hyderabadis take their Biryani very seriously. However, only a true Hyderabadi and a food admirer know that the food and cuisine in Hyderabad are much more than Biryani.
Hyderabad is a hidden gem of delicacies. A food trip in the ‘City of Nizams’ introduces you to a lot of mouth-watering and soul-satisfying options. The food diversity in Hyderabad combines Mughlai, Arabic, Turkic, and South Indian cuisines together. In addition, the food choices here also have hints of cuisines from Telangana and Marathwada.
Guide To Eating Hyderabad’s Authentic Food and Cuisine
If you are a true foodie when in Hyderabad, watch out for options but not calories. Hyderabadi food choices are known for their richness, and you can expect to gain a few kilos after spending a week here.
Here is the comprehensive list of Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisines and Dishes.
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
The oldest flavor of the ‘City of Nizams’, Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, is the most popular and must-try dish on the list. Hyderabadi Dum Biryani originated in Nizam’s city, but it went viral all across the country. Today every part of India and even most countries in the world have several outlets selling Hyderabadi Biryani. However, the most authentic taste remains in the city, and you have to be here to enjoy it.
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is a non-vegetarian rice and mutton dish. During the Nizam era, they used to serve nearly 26 different varieties of Biryani. However, for an introduction to this soulful dish, the best you can do is try the ‘Kachch-e-gosht ki Biryani.’ The raw rice, marinated meat, and several spices and herbs will definitely send you into a food coma. Besides that, the ‘Hyderabadi Zafrani Biryani’ is another worth trying non-vegetarian dish in the town.
Popular Places To Eat Biryani In Hyderabad
- Paradise, Begumpet
- Hotel Meridian for Biryani, Punjagutta
- Hotel Kritunga—For very spicy biryani (They have multiple branches across the city)
- Sri Kanya Take Away at Punjagutta for spicy Fry Piece Biryani and Chicken Dum Biryani
- Aish at The Park Hotel for that authentic Sofiyani Biryani
- Hotel Shadab
- Hotel Bawarchi at RTC “X” roads
- Hotel Shah Ghouse
- Dum Pukht Begum, ITC Kohenur at Hitech City
- Hotel Green Park
Another popular choice for non-vegetarians in Hyderabad is ‘Hyderabadi Haleem.’ This popular delicacy is a stew made with a mix of mutton, lentils, wheat, nuts, and species. Haleem is a slow-cooked dish, and the cooking process brings out its delicious taste. Haleem originated in Arab and Harees and was brought to India but the Arab invaders.
Haleem is also a festive delicacy for Islam followers and thus is often prepared during the month of Ramazan and on the occasion of Eid. It is often enjoyed with roti or naan and is loved by all.
Popular Places To Eat Haleem In Hyderabad
- All Pista House Outlets
- Hotel Paradise
- Café 555 at Masab Tank
- Hotel Shadab in the Old City
- Hotel Sarvi, Banjara Hills
- Hotel Bahar at Hyderguda
Hyderabad has a range of non-vegetarian food options, and Lukhmi is another pick from the lot. Lukhmi is a popular street food in Hyderabad. It is basically a non-vegetarian keema samosa. Lukhmi has a maida cover outside, filled with beef or mutton keema and a blend of spices. The Samosa (patty) preparation is then deep-fried until golden brown.
Lukhmi is crisp on the outside and flavorful on the inside. This popular evening snack is served with mind and curd chutney to taste the best.
Popular Places To Eat Lukhmi In Hyderabad
- Charminar Market
- Hotel Madina
- Alpha Hotel Restaurant
Not many will tell you about this, but Hyderabad offers a lip-smacking mutton option, Pathar-ka-Gosht. This popular lamb dish originated in Hyderabad. Pathar translates for stone in Hindu, and this delicacy is prepared in a stone vessel. Once the meat pieces are heated, the chef adds species and allows it to cook well. For preparing the ghost, they use a special Pahadi Patthar, which is carefully selected. Pathar-ka-Gosht is served hot with onion rings, mint chutney, and Indian bread.
Popular Places To Eat Pathar-ka-Gosht In Hyderabad
- Bade Miyan
- Al Rahaman Patthar Ka Gosht
- MS Mandi & Shawarma
- Kabab e Jahangiri
Also known as Hyderabadi fried chicken, Talawa Gosht (or Tala Hua Gosht) is a must-try. This Hyderabadi dialect is served with Khatti dal, rice, and roti. Talawa Gosht is prepared using mutton or beef and has basic flavorings. This non-vegetarian dish isn’t rich in species, but it is the marination and method of cooking that makes it immensely flavourful. Until the meat is not kept for hours of marination, you cannot bring out that authentic taste.
Popular Places To Eat Talawa Gosht In Hyderabad
- Alhamdullilah Hotel Restaurant
- Hotel Meridian
- Hotel Nayaab
- Jewel of the Nizaam
- Lazzat Restaurant
Murtabak is a spicy folded omelet, just like a stuffed pancake. Depending on the location, the ingredients in Murtabak can change, but it is usually some vegetables and Keema inside an omelet. Murtabak is pan-fried and is popularly sold as a street food in Hyderabad.
A lot of hotels, restaurants, and street vendors in Hyderabad sell Murtabak, especially during evening hours. You can enjoy this delicacy with mint chutney and a cup of hot tea.
Popular Places To Eat Murtabak Gosht In Hyderabad
- Mandar Restaurant
- Mohmad Near Charminar
- Khaja Naan Mahal
- Try out local street side stalls for enjoying Murtabak in a true Hyderabadi style.
Khichdi is enjoyed all across India. If you explore different Indian States, you will observe how a simple dish like Khichdi can diversify without being complex. For instance, Hyderabadi Khichdi, which is a popular breakfast item, is enjoyed with Keema. Khichdi, however, is considered a light food choice, and North Indians enjoy it with papad, achar, and curd. In Hyderabad, Khichdi is enjoyed during the month of Ramadan as a Sehri meal.
Hyderabadi Khichdi is prepared using masoor daal (red lentil) with caramelized onions and is kept semi liquidy. Unlike other Indian Khichdi, it doesn’t have turmeric.
Popular Places To Eat Hyderabadi Khichdi In Hyderabad
- Shah Ghouse
- Stalls at Old City Hyderabad
- Hotel Rumaan
- A Hyderabadi local can offer hot, fresh, and authentic Hyderabadi Khichdi. If possible, try out this at a local household.
Malai Paya is a local South Asian delicacy popular across India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It is one of the oldest non-vegetarian dishes you can enjoy in Hyderabad. The origin of Malai Paya is slightly disputed, but that doesn’t deal with how good it tastes. You can have it as breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it will taste its best at any time.
The Hyderabadi Malai Paya is prepared using Bakre ke paaye (Goat’s leg), Malai (fresh milk cream), and a range of species. This creamy lamb dish is extremely rich and flavorful. Malai Paya is best enjoyed with Indian bread and a side of mint chutney and sour onions. It is also served with desi chai.
Popular Places To Eat Malai Paya In Hyderabad
- Hotel Nayaab in Ghansi Bazaar
- Or, to try the authentic Hyderabadi Malai Paya, visit a local Muslim wedding.
Different Types Of Deserts To Try In Hyderabad
Khubani-ka-Meetha, or Apricot Pudding, is a very special and delicious dessert to try when in Hyderabad. This Indian desert is a part of Hyderabadi cuisine and is quite common in local Muslim Hyderabadi weddings. Khubani-ka-Meetha is made with dried apricots imported from Afghanistan for their distinctive flavor. Chef mix boiling dried apricot with syrup until they have a thick soupy consistency. Once cooked, it is then topped with almonds or apricot kernels and thick milk cream. Milk cream is often topped while serving.
Popular Places To Try Khubani-ka-Meetha In Hyderabad
- Pista House in Charminar
- Café Bahar
- Khubani-ka-Meetha is best served at Hyderabadi households and local Muslim weddings in the city.
Double Ka Meetha
Double Ka Meetha is a bread pudding popular in Hyderabadi cuisine. Double Ka Meetha is also known as Shahi Tukra and is quite popular all across India. This sweet bread pudding is made by deep frying bread slices, soaked in sugar syrup, and then served with rabdi and dry fruit toppings. Double Ka Meetha is served on almost every festive and celebrative occasion, regardless of religious beliefs in Hyderabad.
Popular Places To Try Double Ka Meetha In Hyderabad
- Meethe Miya
- Cafe 555 – Aqeeq Restaurent
- Cafe Bahar
- Lucky Restaurant
Sheer Korma, though, isn’t originated in Hyderabad, but it is lovingly served here. Sheer Korma is basically a festival pudding prepared during Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The dish is prepared by boiling Vermicelli in whole milk. Once the Korma thickens, ingredients like sugar, dates, and dry fruits are been added.
Everything solid is first roasted in pure ghee before mixing in milk. One can enjoy Sheer Korma but hot and cold either as a breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Places To Try Sheer Korma In Hyderabad
- Meethe Miya, Road No 82, Film Nagar
- Try Sheer Korma in the local household of Hyderabad during the month of Ramazan or on the festivity of Eid.
Jouzi Halwa is an all-time favorite dish of Nizams in Hyderabad. This rich sweet dish has a whole lot of flavors and is a must-try. Jouzi Halwa is prepared using wheat flour, lots of ghee, saffron, nuts, and spices. Hyderabad doesn’t flaunt the origin of Jouzi Halwa since its routes go back all the way to Turkey. This royal Hyderabadi sweet is often prepared during celebrations and festivals.
Popular Places To Try Jouzi Halwa In Hyderabad
- Hameedi Confectionery is the best place to try Jouzi Halwa
Osmania Biscuits aren’t a dessert but the most famous snack you can try in Hyderabad. These biscuits date their origin back to the times of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad. Osmania Biscuits are sweet and savory and have more than 13 varieties, all of which are highly recommended. Not only to try when in Hyderabad, but you can even take packs of Osmania Biscuits back with you.
Popular Places To Shop Osmania Biscuits In Hyderabad
- Subhan Bakery
- Nimrah Cafe & Bakery
- Karachi Bakery
- Café Niloufer & Bakery, Lakdi ka pul
Irani Chai, or the Hyderabadi Dum Tea, is another must-try in India. You can find this hot drink majorly in Hyderabad and Pune and cannot miss sipping at least one cup of it. The aromatic strong Irani Chai is best enjoyed with Osmani Biscuit or Fruit biscuit from Karachi bakers.
Places To Try Irani Chai In Hyderabad
- Cafe Niloufer, Lakdikapul and Banjara Hills.
- Cafe Bahar, Basheer Bagh.
- Cafe Madina, Old city
- Alpa Hotel , Secunderabad.
- Blue Sea Hotel, Secunderabad.
- Shah Ghouse , Tolichowki
- Paradise Hotel ,Secunderabad
- Nimrah cafe, Charminar
- Grand Hotel, Abids.
Aab ka shola (Aab shola)
Aab ka shola (Aab shola) is a summer sorbet (drink) extremely famous in Hyderabad. Aab ka shola (Aab shola) is prepared with raw mangoes in a pressure cooker. It is further mixed with salt, sugar, and water.
To try Aab Ka Shola, visit local juice vendors and street vendors.
This was all about the flavorful, distinctive, and rooted Hyderabadi flavors. Hyderabad is ideally a food hub for non-vegetarians, especially mutton and beef lovers. Vegetarians here can fail to find something unique, but the usual Indian food choices here are endlessly available. From Panner dishes to differently cooked daals, Indian breaks, and a huge spread of obvious South Indian food items, you will never go out of choices.
Some authentic Hyderabadi dishes are best tried at Muslim weddings or at local households. For enjoying the non-vegetarian dishes in the correct spirit, consider visiting Hyderabad during Ramadan or Eid season. It is when every other street will be offering you some or other flavorful meat dish.